How should I adjust my sets, reps and rest time when lifting during the basketball season?
Make sure you don't lift too much volume during the season. Getting up into the 10- to 12-rep range could set you up for injury as the season progresses.
If you're doing basic multi-joint movements like the Single Leg Press, Dumbbell Bench Press and RDL, then 2 to 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps is a pretty good balance. This should enable you to maintain your strength throughout the season. Some people suggest avoiding those lifts, but if an athlete performed them throughout the off season, then it's fine to do a maintenance schedule in-season. I usually have my guys rest for about a minute.
Maintaining strength during the season is a big focus of ours, because the players need to stay durable and injury-free. It's also important if you do get an injury, because you'll be able to bounce back a lot quicker if you have been working on things like joint integrity and maintaining connective tissue like tendons and ligaments.
For some of our guys, we test their vertical jump. We do it at the beginning of the season and a couple of times throughout the year to see if they're maintaining their power. We also use a Tendo device on some of our lifts. We'll squat with light weight to see if they're able to move the bar at the same speed as they did at the beginning of the season. Both are ways to indicate if they are maintaining their strength. If it drops off, we might have to back off their weight training.
Chattin Hill is the strength and conditioning coach for the Atlanta Hawks.
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